Immunotherapy: A Breakthrough in Conventional Cancer Treatment

Screenshot of 'The Wall Street Journal' story that was reviewed in the article. (Image: wsj.com)
Screenshot of 'The Wall Street Journal' story that was reviewed in the article. (Image: wsj.com)

Tom Telford got the verdict: “Stage 4 melanoma, a skin cancer” that had spread to his liver and kidneys.

But, according to The Wall Street Journal, his tumors were “melted away” by “an experimental immunotherapy drug—a medication that unleashes the body’s own immune system to attack cancer.”

“Cancer immunotherapy comes in several forms. The drugs sparking the most interest are called checkpoint inhibitors. They work by releasing the natural brakes on the immune system, enabling its foot soldiers, called T cells, to attack tumors.”

Late-stage cancer is still a pretty-sure killer within the confines of conventional medicine.

According to one study, 21% of advanced Melanoma patients were still alive three years after getting this immunotherapy treatment. That may not seem like good odds, but, says the WSJ: Even most of these survivors would be dead otherwise. 

We don’t want to get lynched, so let’s remember that I’m not saying that “alternative” medicines offer any miracle cures. But it may be worth checking out this article: Now I’m Not Saying This Guy Can Cure Cancer, But I Am Saying That Your Doctor is Not Telling You Everything.

And let’s not forget, perhaps the most devastating shortcoming of conventional oncology is that the medicine itself will kill the patient sometimes.

“While side effects of the new drugs are relatively mild for some patients, others have developed potentially devastating complications caused by an out-of-control immune system. Some patients have died as a result. Researchers are devising ways to minimize such problems.”

We’ll try to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in modern medicine. But it would be good if the mainstream press and institutions took a second to research thousands of years of traditions. Some of which can be piercingly effective.

**But let’s not forget what fuels much of what passes for research:**

“The drugs, which are costly to develop, are certain to fuel the debate about the cost of innovative drugs. Yervoy costs more than $120,000 for a four-course treatment, while Merck & Co’s Keytruda, approved in September for advanced melanoma, costs $12,500 a month, or $150,000 for a year.”

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